Opioid Use in Hospice and Palliative Care Settings

Safe Opioid Use in the Home Hospice Setting

Release Date: 05/24/2019
Expiration Date: 05/31/2021
Format: Enduring Online Material

Target Audience

This activity is intended for nurses, social workers, and other health professionals working in the home hospice setting.

Statement of Need

Given the current opioid crisis within our nation, it is important to look at all the means that contribute to the issue.  The UNTHSC Center for Geriatrics along with community partners formed a task force to consider the need for more training in the home hospice setting.  This training was designed to meet that need.

Educational Objectives

Upon completion of this activity participants should be able to:

  • Classify the risk level involved with having opioids in a particular patient's home using the Opioid Risk Tool.
  • List five common signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose.
  • Describe how naloxone is administered to treat an opioid overdose and appropriate follow-up steps.
  • Explain the components of safe medication storage.
  • Identify appropriate steps for medication disposal.


Leslie Coons, PharmD, Resident, UNT System College of Pharmacy, Fort Worth, Texas

Leslie Coons is a PGY2 Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Resident at the University of North Texas System College of Pharmacy in Fort Worth, Texas.  She previously completed her PGY1 Pharmacy Residency at the VA North Texas Health Care System in Dallas, Texas, and she received both her Doctor of Pharmacy and Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Studies at the University of Kansas.  After residency, Leslie is returning to her hometown of Kansas City to be an ambulatory care pharmacist in a reproductive endocrinology clinic at the University of Kansas Health System. 

Shara Elrod, PharmD, BCACP, BCGP, Associate Professor, Pharmacotherapy, UNT System College of Pharmacy, Fort Worth, Texas

Shara Elrod has been with the University of North Texas System College of Pharmacy in Fort Worth, Texas since 2013.  Prior to joining the faculty in Fort Worth, she served as Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice She has completed residencies in both Community Pharmacy Practice and Ambulatory Care Specialty at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Elrod completed her received her Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy.

Alvin Mathe´, DO, Assistant Professor, UNTHSC, Center for Geriatrics, Fort Worth, Texas

Dr. Mathe´ holds board certification by the American Board of Internal Medicine/Hospice and Palliative Medicine and the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine.  He has serves on the Palliative Medicine Consult Team at Texas Health Harris Fort Worth Hospital. As the primary physician member of the Palliative Care Consult Team at Texas Health Harris Fort Worth, he helped open a 16-bed Palliative Care Unit, the only such facility in North Texas. Dr. Mathe´ received his Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine from Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. 

Amanda Robbins, APRN, MS, GCNS-BC, Program Director Fort Worth Emergency Services Collaborative, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital, Fort Worth, Texas 

Amanda Robbins is a Program Director at Texas Health Fort Worth. Through this role she serves as Chair for the Fort Worth Safe Communities Coalition, an injury prevention coalition focused on prevention through multi-sector collaboration in Fort Worth and Tarrant County. With over 19 years of healthcare experience, her work has spanned from direct patient care to risk management, patient safety, quality, education and as a consultant for coordination of care with older adults. Amanda holds a Master of Science as a Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist from the University of California, San Francisco, and a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of Texas at Austin.

Instructional Designers

Stephen McBroom, B.A., INCEDO

Stephen McBroom designs online education for medical professionals. Stephen works with clients to develop educational content into a graphical story. He designs eLearning through rapid, iterative development and has a passion for making education timely, relevant, and engaging to participants through proper utilization of technology, He is a native Texan and has worked for UNTHSC in various departments creating media and educational content. He received his BA in Ad Design from Oklahoma Christian University and has vast experience in video production.

Brenda Wilson, M.S., INCEDO

Brenda Wilson brings over two decades of experience in medical faculty development to the INCEDO team and uses her strong educational design, program development, and project management skills to develop, accredit, promote and implement continuing education programs across the health professions’ spectrum. Brenda has been an active member of the International Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, serving as chair for the Faculty Development Collaborative and a peer-reviewed presenter at conferences. She holds a Master of Science in Learning Technologies and a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management.

Conflict of Interest Disclosure

The activity faculty, UNT Health Science Center INCEDO staff nor any of the planning team have anything to disclose.

Accreditation Statement


UNT Health Science Center is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider # 16274.

This activity is approved for 1.0 Contact Hours.


This activity is approved for a maximum of 1.0 Clock Hours for Social Workers.


The University of North Texas Health Science Center certifies this activity for 1.0 hour of participation.



All information contained within this activity is intended for educational purposes only. Physicians and other health care professionals are encouraged to consult other sources and confirm the information contained in this site. No single reference or service can take the place of medical training, education, and experience. This website does not define a standard of care, nor is it intended to dictate an exclusive course of management. This information should not substitute for a visit or consultation with a health care provider.


Technical Requirements

This activity is best experienced using the most current browser (or one back) of Chrome. For all activities featuring audio, you must have a sound card and speakers. To view graphic images and references that appear in separate "pop-up" windows, you must have JavaScript and session cookies enabled on your computer. Adobe Acrobat Reader may be required for certain activities.


Institutional Review Board

Data collected as part of this activity may be analyzed as part of educational research to study the effectiveness of interventions. This project is included under UNTHSC IRB protocol #2017-056.


WE-HAIL LogoThis project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U1QHP287350100. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Health Resources and Services Administration or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  No commercial support was received for this activity.


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